So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."John 20:2(NASB)
I wrote to you out of great sorrow and anguish of heart – along with many tears – not to make you sad but to let you know how much love I have for you. (2 Corinthians 2:4 ISV)
There is nothing that is precious to the Lord, and which He would make the property of His people, but there will be suffering for it. It will only become their property – in that sense – as they suffer for it, and then woe betide who criticizes that! If you are detached from a thing, if you are detached from a testimony, from a work of God, you can do all the criticizing you like. You have no inward heart-relationship to it, and so you pass your judgments upon it. But if you are in it and you have suffered, if it has been a costly thing where you are concerned, then you are seeing more than all the failings, more than all those faults. The people who can criticize like that and judge and point out faults are the people who have not suffered.
On the other side, we may know all the terms, all the phraseology, all the doctrine, all the truth, and it may be just objective, something we have heard; we have lived in the midst of it, it is familiar to us. But what the Lord will do if that is to become ours is to take us into travail over the matter. He will relate that thing to our hearts in a deep, inward way, so that none of us will be able to say, "I know all about that, I have heard all about that, I could tell you all that you could tell me about that." The Lord would so work in a costly, deep and painful way in relation to that, to make it ours through travail, that we are brought into a new position. We are not spectators, looking on, criticizing; we are on the inside, looking out, defending. We are jealous over it. Suffering is a great purifying thing. It destroys selfishness. It destroys that self-interest that is the cause of so much of the trouble. It makes us in a disinterested way jealous for what is of God. Yes, suffering purifies, and suffering makes this deep, inward link. It gives an extra feature to things. That extra feature where we cannot just be occupied with faults and be people of a criticizing attitude, the extra feature with a love which covers a multitude of sins. We have suffered together. When we suffer together, what a lot we get over!
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you … The Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed. § Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. § In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” § Our sufficiency is from God.
Do not lead us into temptation. § O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. § My times are in Your hand.
How forceful are right words! § I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder.
Those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. § If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
The Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone.” § Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
Let us not … put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. § Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ … [Consider] yourself lest you also be tempted.
They who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:17).
Law and grace are separated by the infinite chasm of the Cross. Law required right conduct first, with earthly position to be earned thereby. Grace gives heavenly position immediately, which ultimately produces right conduct. "Ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom. 6:14).
"The believer does not walk in order to reach the throne. On the contrary. His walk is determined by the fact that he has been placed with the Lord Jesus in a position of immeasurable ascendancy. He has been made to sit together with Christ in heavenly places in order that, having received an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, he might reign in life by one, even the Lord Jesus.
"He walks like a king because he is a king (Rev. 1:6). He is not called upon to walk in kingly fashion in order that he may reach the throne. God's order is different. The Christian begins at the throne and his kingly manner is only the inevitable outcome of his exalted position.
"Our frustrations and agonies in an effort to attain the unattainable, our shame and our defeats such as we find in Paul's own experience tabulated so faithfully in Romans 7, come about naturally and inevitably when, failing to grasp all this, we put the emphasis on our conduct rather than our position, which must come first." -F.J.H.
"Unto Him that loveth us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us a kingdom of priests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever" (Rev. 1:5, 6).
“Till we all come . . unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13
Rehabilitation means the putting back of the whole human race into the relationship God designed it to be in, and this is what Jesus Christ did in Redemption. The Church ceases to be a spiritual society when it is on the look-out for the development of its own organization. The rehabilitation of the human race on Jesus Christ's plan means the realization of Jesus Christ in corporate life as well as in individual life. Jesus Christ sent apostles and teachers for this purpose - that the corporate Personality might be realized. We are not here to develop a spiritual life of our own, or to enjoy spiritual retirement; we are here so to realize Jesus Christ that the Body of Christ may be built up.
Am I building up the Body of Christ, or am I looking for my own personal development only? The essential thing is my personal relationship to Jesus Christ - "That I may know Him." To fulfil God's design means entire abandonment to Him. Whenever I want things for myself, the relationship is distorted. It will be a big humiliation to realize that I have not been concerned about realizing Jesus Christ, but only about realizing what He has done for me.
"My goal is God Himself, not joy nor peace, Nor even blessing, but Himself, my God."
Am I measuring my life by this standard or by anything less?
There are many mysteries in the Word of God: The mystery of the kingdom; the mystery of the Church and the mystery of Israel. The mystery of Christ.. the mystery of God’s will and of godliness. The mystery of lawlessness.. the mystery of faith – the mystery of the seven stars and the seven candlesticks..
There are many mysteries hid by God, from before the foundation of the world. Many are revealed to our understanding through the prophet Paul, a Jew from Tarsus. And yet the Mystery of mysteries that baffles the minds of men is God Himself. The mystery of the Self-Existent One, Who alone can claim I AM that I AM.
God has no origin.. and this distinguishes Him from everything created or brought into being. How can this be, for all created things have a genesis and a genealogy? There was a time before time began. There was a place before space existed. All things that exist have a cause that antedates them. Everything has a precursor from which it came. Everything has its cause – except He that is the Causeless One – He Who is the Uncreated.
From the infant that asks, “where did God come from?” to the scientists’ probes.. of necessity, both admit their own origin have their root in another. But child and philosopher alike must receive an answer that contradicts logic – that God has no beginning, because God alone is the Self-Existent One. God alone is in an exclusive category that lies beyond research and understanding.
He is not a scientific formula to be discovered or a physical law that can be tapped. Child and scientist alike, must accept or reject God as indiscoverable phenomena. Infant and philosopher likewise, have no recourse but to believe – or to reject.
This is the most difficult of all tasks for the insatiably curious human mind. It is an impossible burden for the one that declares “give me proof andread more
Every kingdom is unique.. after its own kind – governed by God. The vegetable-kingdom is governed by its own ‘kind’ - "be fruitful and multiply" The animal and insect kingdoms, the angelic-host, and the starry heights. All have their own design and unique laws that God has chosen to impart to them.
We too in the human-kingdom have a wide range of possibilities, values, and variety, and what tremendous heights the human-kingdom can reach.. even to the stars. Yet there is an unbridgeable dividing gap between the divine kingdom and humanity.
Natural man is incapable of any spiritual intercourse with the Spirit of God. This is a law that God dictated and God has His one way – His only Way; His only Truth; His only Life. Divine life imparted to a born-again soul is essential for communion with God. Divine life, (the free unmerited gift of grace from God) is the only uniting bridge.
Faith, in the only begotten Son, is an obligation, a necessity and a blessing for man.. if that unbridgeable gap is to be crossed – if the immeasurable gulf is to be spanned. But this first step to God is often halted a few steps down the path on the new-creation, and the spiritual newborn is halted in his spiritual life and spiritual growth. For just as the first requirement for the free unmerited gift of grace was by faith.. so too the ongoing wilderness walk through the plains and pains of this earthly life.
Living by faith is not the automatic outcome of the born-again believer. A life of sanctification is not the natural outcome of saved humanity. Spiritual maturity is a decision the believer makes – it’s a day-by-day choice. The ‘laws’ of sanctification (not the Law of Moses) must be applied by the believer.. but it is a choice.
Without the innate sin nature, every new believer would certainly choose life. Most new Christians would undoubtedly choose the path of sanctification. But abuse from others and neglectread more